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The county’s 2020 tax levy percentage represented its highest ever and is an increase of .75 percent over the last year, Halifax County commissioners were told today.

County Tax Collector Doris B. Hawkins also told the board the tax collection percentage for the years 2010 through 2019 was 26.23 percent, an increase of 9.63 percent over last year.

The final collection percentage rate for 2020 was 98.17.

“This achievement of this final collection percentage clearly reflects the continued diligent work by the tax department’s employees along with staff from the legal department and the sheriff’s office,” Hawkins said. “Halifax County’s tax collections are above average for other counties in our same population group and tier designation. In addition our collections are also comparable to the average for our population group as a whole.”

Hawkins told the board the collection staff has done “an excellent job coordinating their efforts to accomplish this percentage. I am proud of the work that the staff has accomplished this year and commend everyone for their dedication to the county and for coordinating efforts with the other departments to accomplish a lofty goal.”

She said the collections staff works hard to research and uses all available measures of collections. “Many thanks go to the assessing staff for having accurate and up-to-date records.”

She also said the department appreciates the efforts of the legal department for working foreclosure actions and Lieutenant Greg Richardson, the tax deputy, “for his dedicated efforts to collect on those personal property collections when all other remedies have been exhausted.”

The tax department continues to look for more efficient ways of performing its job “and to use all our resources to the county’s greatest advantage. One area of focus the past few months has been to improve communication and provide taxpayers with comprehensive information about property taxes.

“We have greatly expanded our website to include information about assessing, exemptions, exclusions, billing and collections along with our property search and mapping application.”

Said Hawkins: “This is truly a team effort to make possible the most productive tax collection percentage for the county and provide total property tax service to our citizens. We appreciate your continued support in our efforts to show we are truly taxpayers serving taxpayers and that working together works.”

Board Chair Vernon Bryant told Hawkins, “Thank you so much for all you do. You are true leaders. Let your staff know we appreciate all you do.”